111 Firefighters Battle Catastrophic Blaze in Historic LA Apartment Building
A horrific fire broke out in the middle of the night in a two-story apartment building in Historic South Central District of Los Angeles. 111 firefighters were dispatched to the scene of the blazing 1920s apartment building after 3:00 a.m. Fortunately, firefighters and others were able to evacuate all residents from the building and no deaths have been reported. The extent of injuries that may have been sustained by some residents of the iconic apartment building and among firefighters is not yet known.
Within a short time after their arrival at the scene, and directly after the evacuation of the building, firefighters were forced to stand down to some degree. As a result of the intense fire, the apartment building began to collapse.
Once the fire was quashed, investigators reported that one of the key reasons the blaze swept the apartment building so rapidly was because of what they described “packrat conditions” in the basement. Initial reports from the investigators indicated that the basement was used for storage and utility purposes and evidently no residents occupied that area. Apartments were on only the first and second floors of the historic building.
Investigators are faced with answering some significant questions about the so-called packrat conditions and their contribution to the massive fire:
- Were the packrat conditions created and maintained by the building owner?
- Were the packrat conditions created by residents but permitted by the owner?
- What residential codes did the packrat conditions violate?
In the United States, what commonly is referred to as regentrification is becoming quite commonplace in urban areas from coast to coast. In some projects, efforts at regentrifying a neighborhood or district involves tearing down existing structures. In other instances, existing buildings maintain their edifices and some other features but are revamped and modernized. In the process of revamping these historic existing structures, at times corners are cut and some residential and commercial properties don’t meet appropriate levels of safety.
Unfortunately, this sad reality is most often identified with the remodeling of buildings into multi-unit residential structures. This includes both existing residential properties as well as commercial buildings that are retrofitted to become multi-unit apartments, townhomes, and condominiums.
State Laws, Local Ordinances, and Rebuilt or Remodeled Apartments, Townhomes, and Condos
If the owner of an apartment building or complex fails to meet state laws and ordinances in reconstructing a structure, or fails to meet other laws and codes, the shortcomings in and of themselves can provide a foundation for a negligence claim against such an individual or company for losses sustained in a fire like this one in Los Angeles. Code violations alone are not the only basis upon which such a claim can be made for fire-related losses. A fire injury lawyer can explain that if an apartment building owner or management company fail to maintain a reasonable level of safety at a property, the owner, management company, or both potentially can be held responsible for losses sustained by residents.
Compensation for All Losses in a Negligent Fire
Although it is hoped that injuries associated with this fire are minimal, this Los Angeles inferno raises some important points. The resident of an apartment building or complex that goes down in flames can result in a renter having a claim against the owner of the property for more than just bodily injuries. What legally are known as compensable losses can include property damage and loss, costs associated with finding alternate living arrangements, lost wages, and other expenses arising from such a fire.
Protect Your Vital Legal Rights after an Apartment, Townhome, or Condominium Fire
If you’ve suffered physical injuries or other losses as the result of a fire in an apartment building or complex, a personal injury lawyer from The Doan Law Firm at (800) 349-0000 is available at your convenience to discuss your case. A nationwide law practice, we can arrange an initial consultation and case evaluation with an apartment injury attorney lawyer at any one of our offices located across the country. We can also schedule a virtual appointment with you online.
There is no cost for an initial consultation with an apartment injury lawyer. The Doan Law Firm never charges an attorney fee unless we win for you.